How glorious it is when the temperature approaches 40 degrees in the middle of January – and there isn’t even any snow for the warm temperatures to melt! I washed my car over a week ago, and it is still clean. I will take the sub-zero wind chill with clear (or cloudy) skies that is soon to return over snow covered roads any and every day (except Christmas – maybe!).
With this week’s two-day January Thaw I am sensing another, even more pleasing one taking place. It is a thawing of hearts. And I must say it has my heart burning in a way that does not have me reaching for Tums.
First one person says, “I have been walking past your church for years and think it’s about time I got inside and started worshipping with you.” Then another said, “I have a five-year-old daughter. May I come in and talk about getting her baptized?” Next it was “I live in the neighborhood and went to your school years ago. What time are your Sunday services?” Before I knew it another nearly have-dozen conversations took place, and the number of Thursday’s Thirst subscribers had jumped to 720.
Many of these contacts have been prompted, I believe, by our new electronic signboard talking about our ministries and sharing our website (www.stl-eastpointe.org). One was from a funeral conducted seven years ago … and a wedding years before that. Christian care and doors open to serve our community are tools that the Holy Spirit uses to initiate January thaws (which, by the way, can come any month of the year).
The Holy Spirit really breaks through the ice and thaws the soil with the powerful word of the Gospel of Jesus. I see the people of STL reading and discussing it … listening (often intently) and living it … and furthering its sharing with their lips, lives, and treasures. And I can only think about the words of Paul to the church in Rome. “How beautiful are the feet of those who share the good news! … So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10.15, 17)
“Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He gives snow like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.” (Psalm 147.15-18)
While I am not sure if the current situation in our world is by God’s design or Satan’s, I am sure that it really does not matter. Our God remains in control … working in and through every deep freeze … and “sending out his word to melt” every frozen heart. And oh, what a joy it is to be walking with people as the January Thaw leads to the spring of new life!
I was out walking around 5:30 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday this week. It was cold – very cold. I had some similar experiences the week prior. However, as invigorating as these walks are for me, they cannot compare to the energy present in the conversations I have had with people … some feeling as though they were frozen … others in the wilderness … some a little numb … but God at work in them all bringing about his January Thaw – at just the right time and in his own unique way.
So, my friend, where are you this day? “He sends out his word and melts them” … and “How beautiful are the feet of those who share the good news.” He is either at work producing a January Thaw in you … or through you … or both! By the way, the weather page I look at says that the next day with temperatures above freezing will not come until next month! And yes, the windchill was back down into single digits for my walk this morning